MOYSHE GIRSHOVITSH (1881-1944)
He was born in Vilna. His father Arn (Aron) was a prominent personage in the community, a teacher, and a councilman in the Vilna city council. He studied in a secular Vilna high school, and for Jewish subjects with private tutors. In 1906 he graduated from the medical faculty of Dorpat (Tartu) University. He specialized in diseases of the heart in Vienna and Neuheim. He practiced medicine in St. Petersburg until the October Revolution in 1917. In 1920 he became director of the Vilna Jewish hospital. He took an active part in the life of the Vilna Jewish community. He published a series of important medical works which were published in Russian, Polish, and German medical journals, as in book form as well. In Yiddish he published in the Vilna journals Folksgezunt (Popular health) and Sotsyale meditsin (Social medicine) about thirty medical treatises which deserve to be singled out for mention, such as: “Vi zol lebn der hartskranker?” (How should one with heart disease live?) and “Vi lebn tsu zayn gezunt?” (How to live to be healthy?). He was in the Vilna ghetto during the Nazi invasion. He threw himself heart and soul into the work of maintaining the health of the ghetto inhabitants. He organized the production of vitamins and gave lectures on how to protect the health of the Jewish population in such horrifying times. The Germans led him out of the Vilna ghetto, and he died of cancer in the Klooga Concentration Camp in Estonia.
Sources: E. Y. Goldshmidt, in Vilna anthology, edited by Y. Yeshuiun (New York, 1935); Sh. Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947); Dr. M. Dvorzhetski (Mark Dvorzetsky), Yerusholayim delite in kamf un umkum (The Jerusalem of Lithuania in struggle and death) (Paris, 1948).
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